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“Googlebot cannot access CSS and JS files” What’s going on?

Webmasters may have recently been suprised to see a warning from Google’s Googlebot on their webmaster dashboard yesterday as it prompted the message “Googlebot cannot access CSS and JS files”.¬†Followed by text that read:

“Google systems have recently detected an issue with your homepage that affects how well our algorithms render and index your content. Specifically, Googlebot cannot access your JavaScript and/or CSS files because of restrictions in your robots.txt file. These files help Google understand that your website works properly so blocking access to these assets can result in suboptimal rankings.”

This is believe to be in support of Googles so called, ‘Mobilegeddon‘, a crack-down on non-mobile friendly websites that was rolled out on 21st April 2015. Whilst not much has been noticed by various web developers and search engine optimisers since the announcement of the clamp-down, maybe Googles desire to access¬†Stylesheets and Javascript files is their first step in ensuring only suitable mobile friendly websites are prioritized in their rankings?

Smaller businesses are likely to be affected by the changed being applied from Google as they are less likely to have mobile friendly websites, whilst larger businesses may not need to worry all that much. It depends on the current configuration of your website and whether your website is already mobile friendly.

Light at the end of the tunnel.

There is however, a fairly simple fix to this issue. That’s of course if you wish to allow Google to access the files it desires. Google supplied support and instructions on allowing access to the files in the message it sent to webmasters, and it couldn’t be more simple, to be honest. But this still sparks debate on whether this is a good thing or not.

If you’re website is not mobile friendly and you’re looking for a suitable and reliable web developer to help you out in this sticky situation I will be offering web development services to ensure your website is not penalized by Google. Feel free to get in touch and have a chat with me about how I can help keep your website booming in their rankings!

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